About the Career Options Assistance Program


Yale Law School has long encouraged its graduates to pursue public service activities. Rising educational debt burdens and stagnant public sector salaries, however, increasingly deter graduates from choosing public interest careers. Large debt and low salaries also discourage career options in academia and some types of private practice.

To give financial expression to the Law School’s commitment to a full range of career opportunities, Yale established the Career Options Assistance Program (COAP) in 1989 to provide substantial post-graduation assistance with educational loan repayment for graduates who choose lower paying positions.

Since its inception, more than 1,500 Yale Law School graduates have participated in COAP and received over $49 million in benefits. In 2015 alone, COAP disbursed $5.1 million in benefits to 455 graduates. COAP remains the most generous loan repayment program available to law school students and the example after which many other programs are modeled.

The people I was able to spend those three years with and think alongside and work alongside — they put me on a different path and it’s a path that’s allowing me to have a much larger and more meaningful impact on children than I would have had before.”


Samantha Tweedy

Class of 2006